Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Behemoth Bel Air Mansion Goes Up on the Block

SELLER: Mohamed Hadid
LOCATION: Nimes Road, Bel Air, CA
PRICE: $85,000,000
SIZE: 48,000 square feet (approx.), 10 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Dramatic location, aristocratic beauty, incomparable quality. Set on the most prestigious street in Bel Air, this three-story, approximately 48,000 square-foot masterpiece offers 280-degree majestic views of the city below and the surrounding mountains. The 2.2-acre property, embraced by a massive 1,000-foot long by 36 feet high hand-chiseled Jerusalem stone wall, is softened with lush foliage and specimen plantings, a swan pond and an infinity pool reaching toward the endless vistas. Stepping stones and monumental gates lead into the garden?s delightful tranquility. There is ample secure parking for 20 vehicles.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Earlier today, Your Mama spent considerable time and energy discussing the palatial pile in lower Bel Air, CA that philanthropist/widow Iris Cantor recently listed with an astronomical $53,000,000 asking price. That is, without a doubt, a lot of damn dinero.

However, Miz Cantor's asking price positively pales in comparison to real estate developer Mohamed Hadid's behemoth Bel Air mega-manse that has just heaved and humped its way on to the market with a spine-tingling, knee-bucking and mind-numbing asking price of $85,000,000. Lawhd children, Your Mama needs a nerve pill and a pitcher of gin and tonics just to loosen our mind up enough to comprehend a number that large.

In addition to having made millions developing 15 5-star hotels for Ritz-Carlton, Mister Hadid now dabbles in developing property for people who want 5-star amenities in their hotel-sized homes. In fact, Mister Hadid is the man responsible for the lavish mansion on Bel Air's N. Carolwood Drive where Michael "The White Lady" Jackson is currently holed up and reportedly paying $100,000 per month in rent.

Mister Hadid recently whispered to the lovely Miss Christina S.N. Lewis who pens the Private Properties column for the Wall Street Journal that he purchased the 2.2 acre parcel on super-swish Nimes Road about 6 years ago and claims to have spent an utterly shocking $59,000,000 to build the monstrous 3-story mansion that measures approximately 48,000 square feet and includes 10 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms.

Listing information for the preposterously posh Hadid house, dubbed Le Belvedere, indicates it is almost entirely surrounded by a 1,000 foot long retaining wall that stands 36-feet high in some sections and is clad in Jerusalem stone. Apparently, ordinary concrete would simply not do. One of the property's seven fountains sits at the center of a massive motor-court that spreads out in front of the imposing and seriously over-articulated front facade where the entrance is flanked by a pair of mature cyprus trees.

The definitely designed to impress the guests entrance hall has glossy herringbone wood floors and a curving Norma Desmond worthy staircase with dozens of heavily carved and super-fat spindles all lit by an impressively glittery chandelier that probably cost more than it would for Mister and Missus Hadid to feed fifty families for a year, which for all we know, they actually do.

According to listing information and recent reports, the massive main floor contains a reception hall, formal living and dining rooms, a paneled family room with a bar lounge (we'd need to be drunk to relax in a house this over-stuffed too), a music room, a wood paneled library, and a paneled office, and the main family kitchen, butler's pantry and staff room. If the children look really hard, y'all can see that one of the rooms with wildly intricate carved and ornamented wood paneling is, in fact, one of the home's two indoor kitchens. Your Mama was only able to determine that room was indeed a kitchen by the over-sized pot rack that hangs over what appears to be whopping work island.

At least five of the 10 bedrooms are located on the second floor–we're not sure where the other five are–and include three family bedrooms with private poopers, a junior master suite with a private lanai and mini-gym, and the ridiculously regal master suite which encompasses a sitting room, bedroom, dual bathrooms, dual dressing rooms and, strangely, a powder room. Now children, why in the world would a master suite with two living room sized bathrooms even need a powder room? Aren't powder rooms usually for guests? Do people this rich actually entertain guests in their boo-dwars?

On the large lower floor, Mister and Missus Hadid can easily entertain a few hundred of their closest friends in the ballroom that seats up to 250, feed 'em with the commercial kitchen, get 'em drunk in the 5,000 bottle wine cellar and make 'em sit through a home movies in the screening room that features obscene amounts of gilded ornamentation and a ceiling painted like a cloudy sky. We would die like that twiglet fashionista Rachel Zoe if the screening room ceiling changed from day to night like the one at The Forum Shops in the sensationally tacky Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Also on the lower floor is a game room, a home gym set-up, a Moroccan themed room with a fantastic carved ceiling where we imagine the Hadids all gather to smoke the family hookah, and, finally, a barrel-vaulted and extravagantly tiled Turkish hammam where the Hadid clan can bathe and sweat communally with all their friends who don't mind stripping and scrubbing down in front of each other.

The landscaping and outdoor recreational facilities are no less lavish than the interior spaces and include all those above mentioned fountains, a swan pond–which is really such a bad idea since not only are swans notoriously mean, they poop indiscriminately, a 70-foot long infinity edge swimming pool, a 12-person, orgy friendly spa, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and a courtyard where up to 100 people can eat a casual dinner al fresco.

Additional amenities include staff quarters located over the garage, outdoor parking for 20 or more cars and underground parking that accommodates two limousine-length vehicles, 19 fireplaces all with heavily carved and ornate mantels and surrounds, commercial grade utilities and entertainment systems and, thankfully, an elevator because Your Mama is plum tuckered out just imagining the cardiovascular strength necessary to haul our big booty up and down and around all three sprawling levels of this supermarket sized residence every damn day. Hopefully the Hadids allow the household staff to utilize that lift otherwise you know they're cursing every member of the family every step they take up and down the back stairs.

So where does one go after selling a monster mansion like this? Although we don't know if he plans to live there or not, Mister Hadid told Miss Lewis at the Wall Street Journal that he's currently building a new, slightly smaller 35,000 square foot chateau-style house over by the Beverly Hills Hotel. If we're being honest, and we always are, we'd confess that we don't have any idea where this new house is located. We're pretty sure, but can not seem to confirm, that Mister Hadid once owned a 980-acre estate called Pokety Farms located outside Washington D.C.. However, it's unclear whether he still owns that particular property. Anyone have any insight there?

As an aside, don't the children find it interesting that there are so many so-called trophy estates currently on the market not only in Los Angeles but in New York, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Aspen and all the other high priced locales really rich people own real estate? We do. Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air posits that with no more 40 to 1 leveraging of private wealth, this sort of excessively lavish lifestyle is going the way of the dinosaur. Hmm. More on that later.

43 comments:

StPaulSnowman said...

Thanks for the late night snack Mama. I think this house is much nicer than Iris'. The staircase proportions are much more refined and the interior finishes more cohesive. I saw this house on the TV show, "Beautiful Homes and Great Estates" which is a glorified real estate ad for high end California properties. They interviewed Mr. Hadid and the craftsmanship in this house is international and very well executed. More about this one please Mama!

SaltLakeShitty said...

That is some speedy quick turnaround from the comment on the last blog. I too thank you for the late-night treat. Too much wood!! God-forbid a fire was to ignite via one of how many ever Wolf ranges are in this monstrosity.

SallyTV said...

"we'd need to be drunk to relax in a house this over-stuffed too." Ahmen, sister.

StPaulSnowman said...

I also like the Cirque de Soleil anorexics suspended over the swimming pool. If the man can afford all this house, he can afford little white camouflage colostomy bags for his swans. No mess........and the high wall will keep the PETArians of the property.

Viva! said...

The extravagance is deafening.

brooklawn dr said...

Yikes!! Such a modest abode.

Well I really dig on the movie theater thingie. So campy. Wonder if Loretta Young comes out first to introduce the film.

http://www.rodeorealty.com/photos.php?property_ID=103

Just in case anyone needed to know the listing agent for a quick offer.

Anonymous said...

I thought lanais only existed on the GOlden Girls.

Anonymous said...

Who's going to buy masonry piles like this with a Depression in the offing? Russian billionaires are retreating (Villa Leopolda cop out). Arab princes are hurting. I will want Mama to keep us posted on what happens to these places. My guess is nothing at all for quite a long time. I also wonder if the owners might be needing...well... some more money for some reason.

Rosey Budd said...

This whole tone makes me think about the last scene in Citizen Kane. Escapism through movies is more popular than ever as the economy circles the drain. We will need Mama's special magic to get us through this.

Anonymous said...

This is the mansion that was on American Idol.

Anonymous said...

Stpaulsnowman: More than a hundred photos of this monstrosity. Eat your heart out.

http://www.onlocation.com/displayimage.php?searchtype=blueid&blueid=3516

StPaulSnowman said...

Anon 7:20.......thanks for the lead.......I'll save you a ventricle.

Anonymous said...

The interior doesn't look that great. I wouldn't be willing to spend that much on it. If i was going to buy a house in California i'd probably buy 40 Beverly Park and save myself a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

A person who would live in such a mansion reminds me of the saying attributed to Marie Antoinette about letting the little people eat cake...look what happened to her. This place is positively decadent. The owner should be ashamed of spending so much money on such a crass display of wealth!

luke220 said...

It makes Iris's place seem cozy!

angeleyes said...

This palatial residence is something to behold and contemplate, the epitome of what one imagines to be the definition of rich and sumptuous, fit for a king or wanna be one.

I personally think that any domicile beyond the 10,000 to 15,000 sq. ft.range is just over the top unnecessarily wasteful unless you're genuine royalty with a host of dignitarial functions to sponsor, but I tend to value practicality over extravagance, and would always prefer a place that reminds me "I'm home", instead of "how rich I am", regardless of how rich I may or may not be. I guess for that reason I actually prefer Iris Cantor's place on St. Cloud, but have to say I thoroughly enjoyed drinking in every last detail of both these beautifully imagined and well executed extravagant, and I do mean extravagant, 'homes'.

Thanks for the double shot of eye popping love today Mama. Back at ya!

Tracy said...

Anon at 7:20... THANKS for the photos. While I enjoy reading Mama's descriptions her prose can't equal the jaw-dropping opulence of this place.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Mr. Hadid is in need of some cash.

Another project he is working on, a house for his ex wife in Malibu.

avg joe :{] said...

I would not worry about him

He will get a king or a prince from another country to buy it because he can.

I have been there, it is a palace in BH no joke, blows away about another palace out there including the one for 125MM.

HotSauce said...

it looks like there was a "spend as much money as you can" contest with no rules. Here's the winner!
Lawd have mercy. Each damn room represents the annual combined income of at least thirty small countries!

pch said...

For a house with such "classical" pretense, this joint has the weirdest siting ever. The main facade is jammed, at a strange angle, against a retaining wall and hill. Perfectly normal for a 5000 square foot mid-century designed for the view, utterly absurd for a 50000 square foot palace. It looks ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

WOW.

Kissyface said...

A depression coming? Yes! But look at the BRIGHT SIDE! The bejeweled abacus should reveal what my modest cell phone calculator already lays bare: This 48,000 square-foot pile goes for just less than 1,800 a square foot at $85,000,000!

Popping "Nimes Road, Bel Air, CA" into Google (O, I know it's so UNDIGNIFIED, almost a SACRILEDGE to do that, like trying to peek at what the Pope's been up to in his garden by using Google Earth) reveals that the zip code for that side of paradise is 90077! A quick detour to the DataQuick site (DQNews.com -L.A. Times Sunday Edition Charts - Data for December 2008, the most recent data available on that site) reveals the average per square foot price in December 2008 for that zip code was $605! So the per square foot price of the Hadid spread is only THREE TIMES the local average! Plus, according to an article in the ever-intellectually-honest (!?) Los Angeles Times real estate pages, the investment is historically sound: "Such areas have so far seen relatively small price declines and haven't benefited from the wave of bargain hunting that's boosted inland sales for months." There you have it: Screw the "inlanders," and PARTY ON in Bel Air, the land of rock-solid, fantasy-free property values! (Will the band at the open house play "Nearer My God To Thee?") Three times the local per square foot asking price must represent Mr. Hadid's charitable contribution to the uber-rich house-buying community of western Los Angeles ... which we all needs a break.

Think of the value and workmanship here! To achieve those effects in the photos, Mr. Hadid must have removed every single Rosarito Beach wood and stone carver, plus at least a majority of all licensed "Hollywood Regency" decorators, from the streets for years just to work on his interiors!

Skeptics, get real: Super-saturated, super-sized, over-the-top, bad taste of this order does not come cheap! Mr. Hadid is the builder of Ritz-Carlton hotels, where so many divine indiscretions are committed every single day, sometimes by people who can even actually remember what happened ... and Mr. Hadid is showing all his professional cards in this one house! This isn’t bad taste as mere self-indulgence, this is bad taste deployed as a formidable WEAPON!

I WORSHIP Mr. Hadid. I WORSHIP this temple of residential excess. Heck, this house is a virtual DOCUMENTARY of residential excess! I LONG to commit divine indiscretions in those wonderful bathtubs, indiscretions of which I will later HAVE NO MEMORY AT ALL! And the divine Mr. Hadid is invited!

Everyone! Run down before the line forms and put in your bid!

Anonymous said...

3:00 pm. Yes indeed but you can't buy the house by the square foot. If you could chop it up and sell, say just 2500 sq ft, then the price might make more sense. I'd pay $360 a square foot for like 2500 sq ft of it, arranged properly.

Mars said...

How you say...?

Ooof! Tres confusing. Je suis dizzy! I need air!

Anonymous said...

Kissyface said...

The Sky Is Falling!

Anonymous said...

Mama, when you've got to walk a quarter mile to get to your master bath, sometimes it's helpful to have a powder room within spitting distance of the bed.

Starck Mad said...

Lord have mercy.....when are these people going to stop trying to create their own tacky version of San Simeon? (is that redundant?)

Anonymous said...

I have submitted an offer 8% above asking price. I plan to use it to house my cat. He will enjoy this property very much.

SHEIK I'RON HAZZAZ

Anonymous said...

http://www.onlocation.com/displayimage.php?searchtype=blueid&blueid=3516

Why didn't mama provide a link to this $85m pile? Is she greedy American like the rest of them?

Maybe she had the abacus so far up her ass she forgot to provide the link.

lil' gay boy said...

What a Brobdingnagian behemoth...

Unlike the comparatively speaking more modest Cantor digs, this pinnacle of excess, this zenith of vulgarity, this ne plus ultra of loutishness (I got a thesaurus for Christmas, doncha know), is so far over the top as to be beyond any affectionate moniker such as campy, overindulgent or even just plain old ghastly. All that overreaching excess and a pot rack too?!? What were they thinking?

Lest anyone think that their downsizing efforts (48K sq. ft. to 35K sq. ft.) are driven by any practical considerations, ponder this:

"...280-degree majestic views of the city below..."

...probably means that because the other 80-degrees is occupied by a construction site, directly facing that façade PCH mentioned, poses the treat of that particular aspect being occupied by not only a retaining wall & hill, but another architectural abortion as well.

Time to get the heck out of Dodge.

Anonymous said...

Just as a reference point to how unbelievably expensive it is to build homes like this, you can see the home under construction next door is using a tower crane. Those cost about a million dollars a year to rent for construction projects, and are typically used for major commercial projects.

Anonymous said...

It all does make one fervently wish that LA meet the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah, as much for architectural depravity as sexual.

Babe Parish said...

If Levitz had an outpost in Dubai, this is what it would look like.

Anonymous said...

That's the worst looking thing I have ever seen. It makes my eyes bleed. So tacky.

Anonymous said...

Darn house Isn't even Big enough for Octo Mom & her 14 Kids,Lol.Modern day Biltmore,I wouldn't want this house if U gave it to me,Heating Bill,Water,Elect,Cleaning it,Yuck,what a WASTE...SAD

Anonymous said...

Please..The only way Octomom would get in the door is if she was there to scrub the terlits..And if you've seen the videos of her shopping at the MAC cosmetics counter and buying fast food (never with any children in tow), you'd know the beotch don't believe in working for a living. My favorit quote so far is "It isn't welfare if you have a legitimate need for the assistance"

Anonymous said...

I have been in this house....In all honesty it reminds me of a very badly decorated Las Vegas casino. Too much gold leaf, too many polyurethane moldings, too many mediocre murals (ie very brightly brightly colored cherubs with rose swags) and very very cheesy fabrics and hotel grade furniture. Word is that his second wife (who was on board LONG before his second wife was separated) was a failed flight attendant, and she was in charge of decorating the place! Well, it looks like it was decorated by a former flight attendant and commisioned by an Arab arms dealer. Lets say that Saddam would have jumped on this place for 85 and called it the western Babylonian Palace.

Anonymous said...

I have been in this house....In all honesty it reminds me of a very badly decorated Las Vegas casino. Too much gold leaf, too many polyurethane moldings, too many mediocre murals (ie very brightly brightly colored cherubs with rose swags) and very very cheesy fabrics and hotel grade furniture. Word is that his second wife (who was on board LONG before his second wife was separated) was a failed flight attendant, and she was in charge of decorating the place! Well, it looks like it was decorated by a former flight attendant and commisioned by an Arab arms dealer. Lets say that Saddam would have jumped on this place for 85 and called it the western Babylonian Palace.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jeezus. This makes Fleur de Lys look like a studio apartment.

Kieran said...

I would rather fork over $85mil for this place than fleur de lys. I love the spa and morrocan theme. I think this will sell within the next 12-24months. surely it appeals to those with the money..?

Anonymous said...

alexdavisestates.com has this place listed too but they are asking $130 Million, why the discrepancy???

Galoux said...

Depressing calculation de jour: If I were to earn the highest annual salary I have ever made (and I am no uneducated zhlub), and if I further never had to spend a penny of it, it would take me a mere 1,180 years to save up enough to buy this monument to self-aggrandizing decadence.